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Mozilla Admits Firefox EULA Is Flawed

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the sudden-outbreak dept.

Mozilla 312

darthcamaro writes "Mozilla has now come around and is taking seriously the concerns of Ubuntu and others about the Firefox EULA, which we discussed vigorously the other day. In fact Mozilla told InternetNews.com that the EULA itself is flawed and will be replaced with something else. Quoting Mozilla Chairperson Mitchell Baker from the article: 'There is a need for something, something to explain the license[.] I'm not sure I would call it a EULA because that has a meaning to many people of adding restrictions to software and we won't be doing that. We'll be having a license agreement much as Red Hat has a license agreement that says the software is available under the GPL and don't use our trademarks et cetera. So we'll have a license agreement but we won't think of it as a EULA.'"

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312 comments

lalala! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028379)

frist psot!

Anonymous Coward (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028397)

FIRST POST

In order to read this message (1, Troll)

homesnatch (1089609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028401)

You must comply with this EULA^H^H^H^HLicense agreement.

Re:In order to read this message (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029005)

If I refuse the agreement, does it mean I can delete and/or return it from slashdot?

Re:In order to read this message (2, Insightful)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029009)

hmm, mod this redundant or informative as you will, but i feel like it should be pointed out:

EULA: End User License Agreement.

firefox will be replacing this with a license agreement. for whom? the end-user ;)

but i'll forgive them, they're cute. all innocuous and stuff :)

Re:In order to read this message (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029211)

No. It'll be a MULA. Middle User License Agreement. An Ubuntu employee will have to drop by your house and click through the agreement...

My primary question... (5, Insightful)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028409)

Do I have to accept it in order to proceed? If I do, it's a EULA no matter what you call it.

Re:My primary question... (5, Funny)

Rayeth (1335201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028539)

Yes but this way they can give it a fun sounding name with a happy acronym like FUNS (Free Unlicenced Not-free Software) or FAIRN (Free Although Its Really Not).

Or even better: FAIBNFAIL (Free As In Beer, Not Free As In Libre).

Ignore that it doesn't quite conform to any of those.

Re:My primary question... (5, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028815)

Do I have to accept it in order to proceed? If I do, it's a EULA no matter what you call it.

Did you even read the article?!? It's not an End User License Agreement, it's just a License Agreement for the End User so it's not a EULA...
it's a LAEU...

Obviously way different.

NIGGER (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25029185)

Nigger, n1gg3r. p4k1, PAKI. Chinky, ch1nky. Spic, 5p1k. Nigger, n1gg3r. p4k1, PAKI. Chinky, ch1nky. Spic, 5p1k. Nigger, n1gg3r.

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028431)

Good to here that they aren't going to try and impose extra restrictions on folks beyond what is allowed by law.

--

Smash the state! (No Law, def. no "Intellectual" "Property".)

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028653)

Yeah but isn't the MPL and other license agreements only if you create derivative works? Why would you need it on the end user product? And If they are so concerned about having an EULA why don't they just have a newly installed browser present a page saying. "Thank you for using Firefox 3.x" Show an EULA and select agree or deny. Deny will close the browser but wouldn't only developers care about the restrictions?

End User License Agreement (5, Insightful)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028439)

You're going to have a License Agreement presented to the End User.. Maybe call it LAEU?

It's walking like a duck and quacking like a duck.

Is Firefox Even Still Relevant To Worry About? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028903)

With Google's amazing Chrome surging in installed base and Microsoft's IE8 looking to actually be a decent browser, Mozilla's woefully outdated Firefox singlethreaded and un-memory protected browser engine has become a joke.

So true (2, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029057)

At starbuck's this morning all the bluehaired ladies were sitting around laughing at the fox while they surfed the web using assorted beta software packages.

I think one of 'em had Dillo v0.9 from an svn repository.

Re:Is Firefox Even Still Relevant To Worry About? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25029213)

Make absurd, sensationalist comments much?

Re:End User License Agreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25029019)

It's walking like a duck and quacking like a duck.

You must have met my crazy uncle Paul. He might seem a little strange but if you toss him a few bread crumbs he loosens up quickly.

Re:End User License Agreement (5, Funny)

PawNtheSandman (1238854) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029097)

It's walking like a duck and quacking like a duck.

One is a mallard with a cold. The other.....

I forget the rest but your mother is a whore.

Re:End User License Agreement (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25029103)

It's walking like a duck and quacking like a duck.

So it's not a EULA or LAEU at all. It's a duck.

not a EULA eh? (5, Insightful)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028457)

"So we'll have a license agreement but we won't think of it as a EULA"

hmm yeah we need some sort of agreement.. an agreement with the user.. that lets them know the terms of our license.. you know for our trademarks and stuff... but not a EULA.

I wonder if there's an acronym for this user agreement to our license thingy...

Re:not a EULA eh? (0)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028655)

You mean like the GPL?
If you use/distribute GPL software you must abide by their license.
Isn't it a good think to inform people of what they can and can not do with the software?

Re:not a EULA eh? (5, Informative)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028745)

If you remove the "use" from the second line of your post it becomes much more accurate. The GPL only imposes restrictions on how you can distribute software. Anyone can use it however they want.

Re:not a EULA eh? (3, Insightful)

arotenbe (1203922) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029051)

The GPL only imposes restrictions on how you can distribute software. Anyone can use it however they want.

In fact, that's the fundamental argument about why an EULA for GPL'd software is wrong. An EULA really implies an "End User Use License Agreement". But GPL software is sold (or given), not licensed. The GPL is a distribution license, and explicitly places no restrictions on use. So the EULA for Firefox really ought to say, "You can use Firefox for whatever you want, but if you want to distribute it, please comply with the GPL. Oh, and don't use the trademark 'Firefox' for any other browser. Otherwise, have a nice day!"

Re:not a EULA eh? (0, Troll)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029077)

Use is a broad word.
I can not use it by taking it and changing a few little things then selling it.
That is using software as well.
This getting bent of the EULA is such a tempest in a tea pot that it really isn't funny.

Re:not a EULA eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25029327)

Actually, you can take it, change a few little things and sell it. You just can't stop someone else from taking your changes and doing the same.

Re:not a EULA eh? (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028883)

As others have stated, you don't need to agree to the GPL in order to use GPL-licensed software. You only need to agree to the GPL if you're going to distribute GPL-licensed software.

Re:not a EULA eh? (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029137)

Well that depends on how one is going to use it. But too not split hairs the GPL requires you to include the GPL with all GPL software. It doesn't say that it can not be displayed for them.
The fact that so many people are getting so upset over this is just no longer funny. Is this really worth getting all up in arms over?
Mozilla seems to want to do what is right. And goodness knows they have already done the FOSS community a world of good.

It isn't the specifics... it's the principle. (5, Insightful)

compumike (454538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028467)

Nobody has to agree to the GPL to use a GPL'ed piece of software -- only to gain additional rights like redistribution. All Mozilla really needs to do is to look at the Trolltech / Qt situation, and then look around and see real alternatives to their product (Opera / WebKit / etc), and they'll wake up and smell the coffee. There isn't enough justification for the EULA hassle just to "explain the license", and that will be worked around by developers and distributions.

Looks like they missed the point.

--
Hey code monkey... learn electronics! Powerful microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

Re:It isn't the specifics... it's the principle. (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028701)

I always wondered about if accepting the gpl is required. If I decline the gpl license, what right does I have to use the software?

I mean I don't think I have any right to use any software, unless that right is explicit given to me.
Or is the fact that I am in possession of the software enough to also grant me right to run it?

If possession is enough, then I can also conclude that any software EULA is invalid, because I can just run the software without accepting the EULA.

Re:It isn't the specifics... it's the principle. (4, Informative)

Nathanbp (599369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028783)

Assuming that you have obtained the software legally (for example, from somehow who is distributing it under the GPL), you need no further rights granted to run it. The GPL gives you the additional right to distribute the software (under the given conditions). However, the GPL also contains some things (like a disclaimer of warranty), which do apply to all end users.

Re:It isn't the specifics... it's the principle. (1)

William Ager (1157031) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029069)

GPL-based software and normal proprietary software are distributed in completely different ways. When you buy or are given GPL-based software, you are being given or sold the software, not a licence to use it, much like obtaining a book. Normal copyright laws apply to it, much like almost anything other than software; you can use it in any way you want, but can't copy or distribute it. If you do want to do those things, then you need a licence, and the GPL gives you that. You only need to agree to the GPL in order to copy the software, however, because the GPL is a licence for copying and distribution, not use.

Most software licences, however, are licences for use, not distribution. In those cases, you are being given a licence to use the software, not the software itself, and you need to agree to the licence in order to use the software at all. It isn't easy to find a parallel to other things here, because software is about the only product where this sort of thing is done. These are EULAs; the GPL isn't really a EULA, and isn't comparable.

It does, however, seem to me that if you can run software without accepting the EULA, and can do so without knowingly circumventing the wishes of the author, then lawful possession is probably enough.

Re:It isn't the specifics... it's the principle. (2, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029095)

If I decline the gpl license, what right does I have to use the software?

The person you got the software from gave you the right to use it, because he accepted the terms of the GPL (or was the copyright holder).

Re:It isn't the specifics... it's the principle. (2, Informative)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029127)

That you think you need special rights to use the software is a consequence of the EULA-happy environment corporations have been creating for a few decades now.

If you obtained the software legitimately, you can do anything you want with it, short of unauthorized redistribution (which is prevented by copyright). You can use it in any way you want. If you own a table, you can put your dinner on it, you can stand on it to reach your chandelier, you can barricade your door with it, you can chop it up for firewood -- it's yours to do with as you see fit. Same thing goes with software.

What the GPL and other similar licenses so is grant you permission to redistribute the software (which otherwise wouldn't be allowed), so long as you follow certain conditions (in the case of the GPL, making the source code available). If you reject the terms of the GPL, that's fine -- you can still use the software. But you no longer have permission to redistribute it.

Re:It isn't the specifics... it's the principle. (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029257)

the GPL has nothing at all to do with simply using the software. Use of the program is covered by freedom 0 of FSF's definition of free software and by that definition, you inherently have the right to run the software and use it for any purpose. You also inherently have freedom 1, the right to study how the program works and adapt it to your needs. This is without agreeing to the GPL.

The GPL only comes in for freedoms 2 and 3, which you do not otherwise have, the right to redistribute the software and the right to improve the software and share those improvements for the benefit of everyone, as it sets certain preconditions (the requirement to make the source available, for instance) on such to guarantee the users of your program the all same freedoms you enjoyed.

Re:It isn't the specifics... it's the principle. (1, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028955)

I don't understand what the big deal is here. Mozilla acknowledges that the issue is not the software itself, but their trademarks. So show the trademark notice (not the actual GPL text) during install with a specific message that tells the user they do not have to agree to it unless they're actually thinking of redistributing it. Don't have "Accept" and "Reject" buttons, just an "OK" one. Done, end of story.

Seriously, this has reached epic levels of lameness, even for the usual petty "not free enough!!1!!" flamewars.

Re:It isn't the specifics... it's the principle. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029163)

I don't understand what the big deal is here.

The big deal is that you can't impose additional restrictions on the code, and the Firefox EULA imposes additional restrictions on the trademarks without making it clear that those restrictions do not apply to the code.

So show the trademark notice (not the actual GPL text) during install with a specific message that tells the user they do not have to agree to it unless they're actually thinking of redistributing it. Don't have "Accept" and "Reject" buttons, just an "OK" one. Done, end of story.

You've got it backwards: the GPL should be shown with the message that the user doesn't have to agree to it; the trademark license should be shown with the message that the user does have to agree to it.

Or better yet, the installer ought to allow the user to reject the trademark license, but install the browser with the alternative (i.e., non-trademarked) icons and names.

Or even better than that, Mozilla could give up this stupid trademark bullshit, and just distribute the whole damn thing solely under the GPL(/LGPL/MPL) like it's supposed to!

The GPL must be complied with, period. (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029157)

If you do not agree to the GPL, you cannot use the software. It is as simple as that. The copyright holder allows the user to use the copyrighted material in exchange for the user's promise to abide with the terms of the license (i.e., the GPL).

This is not mere semantics (well, it is, but it's legally important semantics). This word-mechanism allows the licensor-developer-GPL guy to retain his or her copyright. That copyright is the muscle that empowers the GPL.

If you don't agree to the GPL, then you have NOT made a bargain with the licensor. If you have not made a bargain with the licensor, then the licensor has NOT conveyed some of his copyright to you. Without that conveyance of copyright, you can't copy and use the program!

Acronyms are Hard (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028477)

This isn't an End User License Agreement, it's a license agreement. For, ummmm, the end users.

Re:Acronyms are Hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028639)

It still does not change the fact that it is usability bug to present user something that does not help them in achieving their real life tasks with the software. The only viable way to fix that is to simply remove the whole thing, and not to move it into a tab as happened in the latest development version of Ubuntu. Tab is still a distraction that is no good for users.

'There is a need for something, something...' (4, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028483)

Must... justify... high priced... lawyers...

Re:'There is a need for something, something...' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028941)

William Shatner, is that you?

A rose by any other name... (3, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028487)

"So we'll have a license agreement but we won't think of it as a EULA.'"

They still don't get it. Anything you have to agree to with an "I agree" button, no matter what they call it, is a EULA.

Re:A rose by any other name... (0)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028531)

...and I get that a lot on things licensed under the GPL. So, therefore, the GPL is an EULA.

 

Re:A rose by any other name... (2, Insightful)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028573)

I've filed a couple of bug reports against GPL'ed software on this, because GPL specifically says you don't need to agree to it to use the software.

Re:A rose by any other name... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028643)

...and I get that a lot on things licensed under the GPL. So, therefore, the GPL is an EULA.

Many GPL applications want to display their license during installation (in the Windows world it's rather expected, and might even cause the user to wonder since there aren't any presented). Many installation frameworks automatically make that a "I agree" or "I accept" button where it should just say "Next". I don't consider it a big issue since as a user I agree to exactly nothing anyway.

Re:A rose by any other name... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029241)

I don't consider it a big issue since as a user I agree to exactly nothing anyway.

You and I may know that, but Joe Blow installing OpenOffice for the first time doesn't. That, in my opinion, makes it a big issue.

Re:A rose by any other name... (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028907)

The GPL itself isn't an EULA, no matter how a program may present it...

In other words, if I say "Here's my program's EULA" and I show you the GPL, that doesn't make the GPL an EULA - the GPL is about distribution, not use. All those programs that present the GPL as an EULA are wrong.

Re:A rose by any other name... (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029109)

Which is my point. I know the GPL isn't an EULA, but it certainly get presented as one plenty of times.

Re:A rose by any other name... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029197)

...and I get that a lot on things licensed under the GPL.

...and all those things are wrong.

Presenting the GPL improperly as if it were an EULA doesn't make it one, any more than driving a car off a cliff makes it an airplane!

Re:A rose by any other name... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028693)

That's the crux. Displaying information about the license isn't the problem. It's the "I Agree" button. The user doesn't have to agree with the license to use the program, they only have to abide by the terms of the license, which I believe only concerns itself with reproduction and distribution.

If they got rid of the "I Agree" and replaced it with "Continue", "Next", or even "Skip", it wouldn't be a problem.

Re:A rose by any other name... (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028995)

The following is an excerpt from the GPL: All rights granted under this License are granted for the term of copyright on the Program, and are irrevocable provided the stated conditions are met. This License explicitly affirms your unlimited permission to run the unmodified Program. The GPL explicitly permits the user license to RUN the software. Therefore it's an EULA. This idea of there being a difference between agreeing with a license and abiding by a license is just silly semantics.

Re:A rose by any other name... (1)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029275)

Not so. I abide by certain Laws whether I agree with them or not, because there are penalties I would face if I broke them. I don't have to agree with them, but I'll abide by them if I know what's good for me. A license agreement is less of an issue in terms of actual real-world penalties, but the language still applies. I don't have to agree with Mozilla's lawyers but that doesn't mean I won't play nice anyway.

Re:A rose by any other name... (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028811)

They still don't get it. Anything you have to agree to with an "I agree" button, no matter what they call it, is a EULA.

According to this [wordpress.com] you will not have to. Summary points:

  • Makes the license grant parallel to the MPL;
  • It has optional terms that govern services provided by Mozilla through the browser (e.g. anti-malware and anti-phishing services). A user may opt of the services and continue using the browser;
  • The license grant excludes trademark rights; and
  • The license doesnt require explicit click through.

To quote... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028523)

"9. Acceptance Not Required for Having Copies.

You are not required to accept this License in order to receive or run a copy of the Program."

        - GNU GPL, v3

Re:To quote... (1)

Kickboy12 (913888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028695)

I'm pretty sure firefox is licensed under GPLv2. Luckily... v2 has similar language. To quote... "5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or works based on it."

Re:To quote... (1)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028923)

So this means people do need to accept the license if they wish to install plugins or extensions, yes?

Re:To quote... (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029273)

In the rather strange situation that you install an extension which modifies firefox's code, and if then you proceed to distribute the resulting code, yes.

a turd by any other name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028541)

so uh, they wont have an EULA.. they'll just call it an EU license agreement...okay.

Won't they think about all the poor little oepn source idealist who will be disillusioned by such political nonsense.

I think the outcry is warranted because it sets a bad precedence. It teaches users to blindly click long agreements they don't give a shit about and will never follow anyways, and this will teach them to click on more important dialogues without giving thought too.

Plus this might give other projects the same idea. Yeah, lets all have a redundant agreement for every program within linux. Maybe we can have a program start up that teaches about trademark law, and until the user passes an exam they can't use Linux... haha, it wont' be a license agreement then.. it'll be an end user education program...

Re:a turd by any other name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028855)

Well thank God I don't have to agree with it, I live in the US. Silly EU, thinking we're going to go along with their crazy schemes!

Not only (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028571)

Not only do the GPL bits not belong in the EULA, but the trademark bits don't belong in the EULA either. We're not talking about what end users do, because Mozilla has never stopped end users from doing whatever they want. Mozilla is concerned with distributors repacking Mozilla products with changes they don't like, and misrepresenting their trademark.

They have their license information online. They make it clear to developers how the project can and can not be repackaged while maintaining official branding.

How does any of that relate to the end user?

The answer is to completely remove the nag screen from the end user.

They want a Splash Screen... (5, Insightful)

Bazman (4849) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028587)

Lots of software has splash screens, and most people don't have an aneurysm over them. You pop up the brand, mention the trademarks, and in the meantime the software is doing it's thing.

Nice software has an option to turn off the splash screen. But you will probably see it the first time.

Clicking through an "agreement" to not violate their trademark/copyright is dumb. I mean, I've never agreed not to murder anyone...

Re:They want a Splash Screen... (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029031)

I hate splash screens! If I had to see a stupid splash screen every time I started my browser, I'd switch to Konquerer.

So. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028593)

So, any bets on how long it is going to be before all the people from the last Mozilla EULA thread who were pushing the "C'mon, suck it up, it isn't a big deal, nothing to be done anyway, the average user doesn't care, don't be a freetard" line show up to admit that whining was a useful measure?

I'm guessing it'll be a while.

Re:So. (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029173)

Or not as long as you think, considering Mozilla hasn't really changed their position anyway. You probably read the title without reading the summary or article. Here's a clue: They still want the EULA, they just won't "think of it as an EULA," and they'll probably call it something different.

That shouldn't convince you that anything useful has occurred yet, although there is certainly time for Mozilla to see the light.

Re:So. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25029303)

C'mon, suck it up, it isn't a big deal, nothing to be done anyway, the average user doesn't care, don't be a freetard

Re:So. (1)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029321)

As Mozilla seems to be replacing their old EULA with a new Licensing agreement for end users, you are correct. It may be a while.

in other words, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028595)

Out with the EULA! In with the EUphemism!

NewSpeak (1)

doas777 (1138627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028599)

well we found that we like license agreements, but no one else does, so we thought that we'd rename they 'Beer', because people like 'Beer'. so three cheers for 'Beer'! oh! it's time to take our soma....

Informational dialog (5, Interesting)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028603)

If it's simply for the user's information, why not make it open in a tab when the browser is opened for the first time, not an obtrusive dialog box like it is now? It would be like the tab which spawns where there's an automatic update.

This way, Mozilla can have its "EULA sans mandatory agreement" and the users can simply close the tab if they're not interested in reading the lengthy open source licenses or a summary thereof.

Re:Informational dialog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028967)

A tab would be tolerable. The user should be /informed/ of something, not have to agree to it. ..a tab is fairly benign.

Re:Informational dialog (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028979)

I think this is a very good solution - I hope an enterprising denizen of slashdot can get your idea to someone at Mozilla who can do something about it....

Re:Informational dialog (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029061)

Why not just a one time splash screen informing the user that the name "Firefox" and the graphics are property of Mozilla and the users should just not fuck with them under penalty of laws most people are already aware of?

Losing it? (1)

ardor (673957) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028613)

What is happening? Why this brain-dead action? Why piss off people like this? The Mozilla crowd is being hit hard by WebKit, and this is their answer?

As usual, when politics get involved, everything goes down the drain.

Mitchell's own words (4, Informative)

savala (874118) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028635)

Read Mitchell's own words [lizardwrangler.com].

I really don't understand why people keep linking to silly "news" sites when there's pretty much always far more comprehensive and accurate information available directly at the source.

Just semantics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25028749)

So people were upset because they called it a "EULA" instead of simply saying "license"? Wow. Just wow.

Agreeing to a license... that's a EULA (1)

seifried (12921) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028761)

"We'll be having a license agreement" which I assume I need to agree to in order to use the software, which sounds a lot like a EULA. Unless there is a clause like "if you don't like this agreement you can just ignore it" which I somehow doubt. Personally this annoys the heck out of me because 99% of my software doesn't force me to read the EULA/License/etc, imagine if every time you ran a UNIX utility you had to view/agree to a license. If grep and Galeon don't do it, why does Firefox have to?

What's in a name (0, Troll)

discord5 (798235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028779)

So we'll have a license agreement but we won't think of it as a EULA.

End User License Agreement... I suggest that we from now on use the term ANUS, which stands for "Agreement Not to Use the software Subversively". I believe it conveys the message pretty well, and will lead to fun sentences at the office like:

  • Did you read the ANUS?
  • Click OK on the ANUS.
  • I checked the ANUS, and if we link to it our product needs to follow its terms
  • You've violated the ANUS of that software package.

Exactly why are we throwing a hissy fit over this? Pop up the goddamn EULA, or rebrand it (lol, iceweasel). It's not like the end user cares enough to click Cancel while loudly gasping and saying "Oh noes, I almost agreed to those evil MPL/GPL licenses and voided my computers warranty".

trademark (1)

haggus71 (1051238) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028795)

I think it might be this: they have no problem with you using and modifying their software. They just don't want you to use the Mozilla or Firefox trademark after you do so. Once you have modified it, it isn't the same product, and they don't want their name associated with it.

I think it's just DRM as far as the trademark is concerned, which they have every right to do. So all the over-reactions need to chill a bit. As long as they keep the software free to use and modify, there isn't an issue.

Re:trademark (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029027)

> I think it might be this: they have no problem with you using and modifying their
> software. They just don't want you to use the Mozilla or Firefox trademark after
> you do so.

The law already covers that. Asking end users to agree not to violate the law is ridiculous.

License Notification, Warranty Agreement. (2, Informative)

randomc0de (928231) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028825)

Mozilla needs to have 2 things. A license notification - this software is free to use and available for redistribution under the GPL - and a warranty agreement - by using this software, you agree it is not covered by any warranty or guarantee, period. Trademark issues in the agreement are useless. Their trademark is already covered by trademark law, and only needs the "TM" symbol next to it for protection. I can't copy someone else's novel or software simply because I didn't "agree" to their copyright. It exists whether I agree to it or not. The only thing Mozilla needs protection from is guarantees of use and warranty.

Re:License Notification, Warranty Agreement. (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028889)

Man, they SERIOUSLY need that license notification...considering that last I checked, Firefox wasn't GPL (its MPL) and a lot of people here seem to think it is!

Re:License Notification, Warranty Agreement. (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028943)

Hrm, its tri-licensed, not just MPL, whoopsies. Anyway, you get the idea.

Re:License Notification, Warranty Agreement. (1)

savala (874118) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029003)

Man, they SERIOUSLY need that license notification...considering that last I checked, Firefox wasn't GPL (its MPL) and a lot of people here seem to think it is!

It's both. And also LGPL.

Mozilla source code is (and has been for several years now) completely tri-licensed [mozilla.org]. You can choose whether to use it under the terms of the GPL, the LGPL or the MPL, or any combination thereof.

Relevant blog posts... (1)

GarfBond (565331) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028879)

http://lockshot.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/firefox-eula-in-linux-distributions/ [wordpress.com]

Weâ(TM)ve been working for a while to fix some objections to both the presentation of a EULA and the content of the EULA in certain Linux distributions. The issue came to light because of a change in settings in the 3.0 builds, that turned on the EULA display at installation, similar to the Windows environment. This caused two big problems. One, it put a EULA in front of a set of end-users who are not accustomed to seeing such agreements. Second, the license grant itself was inconsistent with the values of many of the users in the Linux communities and our own. They viewed the EULA as improperly imposing restrictions on the use of Firefox. Red Hat and Fedora were staunch advocates for making a change, and helped us understand the problem and potential fixes.

Upon review, they were right. So over the past few months weâ(TM)ve redrafted the license agreement and changed the presentation requirements. This was a significant change for us from a licensing perspective, perhaps long overdue in the eyes of others. We believe the new terms address the objections we heard from both a substantive and presentation perspective. The plan was to post about it this week, so I guess that part is coming true, but not quite the setting Iâ(TM)d imagined.

The new agreement (shown below) isnâ(TM)t yet in the builds, but hereâ(TM)s what it does:
  Makes the license grant parallel to the MPL;
It has optional terms that govern services provided by Mozilla through the browser (e.g. anti-malware and anti-phishing services). A user may opt of the services and continue using the browser;
  The license grant excludes trademark rights; and
  The license doesnâ(TM)t require explicit click through.

It is essentially structured in two portions, one dealing with the code, and one dealing with the services. The first part describes the license applicable to the code itself. The second part contains terms that govern use of optional services. From a presentation perspective, weâ(TM)re of the view that itâ(TM)s good for users to easily be able to see the license terms associated with their software; however, this doesnâ(TM)t mean it has to be a poor user experience. We have adopted an approach that tries to conform to the way the distributor presents license info. In cases where there is only a first run page presented, weâ(TM)ve proposed language to inform the user that there is a license agreement, and they can click a link to view the terms. In other cases, like corporate builds where an IT administrator is already presented with EULA terms, weâ(TM)ve asked distributors to include the terms with the terms that are already presented.

Over the next few days, weâ(TM)ll review any comments, and re-evaluate the draft language in light of the feedback.

The post itself has the current draft.

http://blog.lizardwrangler.com/2008/09/15/ubuntu-firefox-and-license-issues/ [lizardwrangler.com]

Ubuntu recently included a patch that causes an End User License Agreement for Firefox to appear. This has caused great concern on several topics. One is the content of the agreement. Another is the presentation. A third is whether thereâ(TM)s any reason for a license at all.

The most important thing here is to acknowledge that yes, the content of the license agreement is wrong. The correct content is clear that the code is governed by FLOSS licenses, not the typical end user license agreement language that is in the current version. We created a license that points to the FLOSS licenses, but weâ(TM)ve made a giant error in not getting this to Ubuntu, other distributors, and posted publicly for review. Weâ(TM)ll correct this asap.

Second, the way the license is presented to people also has issues. I think the presentation might not be so bad if we had the correct content there, so that it said the software is governed by the FLOSS licenses that are so important to us. But even then the presentation may have issues. Weâ(TM)re certainly trying to figure this out. Weâ(TM)ll do this with public input; youâ(TM)ll see posts about this shortly as well.

Thereâ(TM)s a third question of services, and whether the FLOSS license for the code can include the services one accesses. We think this isnâ(TM)t true all the time, and the license will reflect that. The code is governed by FLOSS licenses, and we should have been clear about that.

This leaves the question of whether it ever makes sense to show people the terms that relate to the software and services available to them. I saw some comments asking why one ever needs any terms. Again, if we had the correct content I think this would be less of an issue because then we would be telling people about FLOSS licenses. We (meaning Mozilla) have shot ourselves in the foot here given the old, wrong content. So I hope we can have a discussion on this point, but I doubt weâ(TM)ll have a good one until we fix the other problems.

We take this very seriously and are working hard to fix it.

Update: text of the revised license is online.

Sorry about the smartquotes, I'm too lazy to fix it.

The word you are looking for is "NOTICE" (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25028887)

> I'm not sure I would call it a EULA because that has a meaning to many people of adding
> restrictions to software and we won't be doing that.

Quit implying that users are entering into a contract with you. Call it a "NOTICE". Leave off the "Agree" (or whatever) clicky. If you think you have to have a clicky (you don't) label it "Acknowledge".

The fact is, though, that you don't even need a notice.

Right... (1)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029007)

After reading (several independent summaries of) the firefox EULA...

I don't see why they couldn't just clean out the things that don't apply to the end-user (mostly their trademark on redistribution), replace "I agree" with "continue" and remove "I disagree". That way they can have informed the user of where to get the source code, that mozilla can't be held liable for anything firefox does (if they must - you can't sign away your rights to sue them anyway and this applies to everything in Ubuntu so that's kinda redundant), about the anti-phishing stuff and its implications, and refer you to an actual license if you want to redistribute. That should cover their asses legally speaking without requiring the user to agree to anything.

Fewer Linux End Users for 3.x (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25029013)

Because it requires gtk-2.10.x, which most current distributions don't have.

I can't even build from source without first having to download and build gtk and the 20 other packages that depend on it.

Clueless about the EULA. Clueless about how to build something that most people can actually use. Just generally clueless.

Just display it on the first run (1)

Wokan (14062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25029101)

How hard is it to make this license show up on the initial tab you see. Every time I upgrade to a new Firefox there's a extra tab popping up to tell me just how cool I am for upgrading to the latest version and why I should be such a happier person for it. Just do that with the license and be done with it. Is there really that big a need for some "accept" button on this thing?

moron surveying warmongering corepirate nazis (0)

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